I've been staring at December on the calendar and sizing it up. I would like to think that after 14 years of parenting and 42 years of existence, I would get a better handle on all things holiday. So what's your battle plan for the season? Tomorrow's Black Friday, to be followed closely by cyber Monday. What's not to say there wont be a "Take no Prisoners" Tuesday followed by a "Harried Hump Day". If there's a name to be made up, the big retail industry will create a special shopping day for every day of December. It's like the retail world has taken the petit surprises of an advent calendar and hyped it up into a frenzy godzilla-like monster. So what are we to do?
Let me start by saying that the original "Doorbuster" frenzy started with my dog, Miles. Blissfully unaware that Doorbuster day should only happen on the Friday after Thanksgiving, he managed to eat almost all the trim off of most of our doors on a daily basis as a puppy. Slowly we are repairing them all, and it's no great bargain. So is searching for the bargain worth the toll it takes on our sanity? Part of me is willing to give it a try, while the more logical side of me has me putting on the brakes.
I was thinking that perhaps the best way to "celebrate" the holidays is to give yourself some guidelines. Be sure to realize and understand your own personal limits and realize that no matter how well (or not so well) you succeed as Santa's elf, that your family still loves you.
Here are my thoughts on how I'll deal.
I'll be sure that as a family, we'll will sit down and watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas", as a simple reminder of what Christmas is all about. It's timeless and more relevant than ever.
I will not let my kids' sports schedules turn me into a psychopath. If we need to skip a day, then we will.
I will think twice before I head out the door. Shopping in a mall can bring out the worst in humanity, especially this human. Recently, I was chased down by a kiosk perfume lady and I truly envisioned giving her a black eye for her invasion of my personal space. My Italian/Irish traits will behave.
While in a store, I will be patient, because like waitressing, retail isn't an easy gig.
If I do have to get in a car, I will do my best to compose myself after numerous stop light cycles without forward movement.
I'll be nice to my kids when I take the Christmas card photo realizing that I have a tendency to go way over the top and ask too much of them.
I will stay in my ugly fleece pj's, and create a permanent indentation in my office chair and enjoy shopping with my dog at my feet and my cat on my lap.
Since I will be sitting in my office chair a lot, I will not buy any ice-cream throughout all of December as a preventative measure for my waistline.
Before I buy my kids some landfill fodder that seems awesome at the moment, I will venture up to their closets and witness last year's treasures shoved in the corner.
I will back away from the Paypal button when it comes to purchases for myself.
I have a tendency to buy the same "logical gifts" every year for my family. I will try not to bore them with more of the mundane in a slightly different colors.
I will shop small businesses and spread the cheer there. They are huge in making our town, a community.
I will not embark on any new craft gift projects after December 10; this means avoid Pinterest like the plague.
I will get off my arse on a regular basis to play ball with my dog and run him in the woods.
I will not stay up past midnight more than twice a week.
I will open my heart to those that tend to push my buttons because they are probably more stressed out than me.
If I get a chance to get some holiday baking in, I will make a note to self that cookies are not dinner.
Best of luck taking on (fill in the blank _____day). We have about 25 of them before Christmas. May your good cheer begin!